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Winter Sun on Indian Beaches

Cola beach in south Goa, with a backdrop of coconut groves

It may be India’s smallest state but Goa delivers big on balmy sunshine, stylish accommodation and serene vibes, especially during January when there’s almost no rain, ayurvedic and yoga programmes are in full swing and temperatures are kept fresh by gentle gusts off the Arabian sea. The obvious starting point for a winter jaunt is the capital Panaji. It was the centre of Portuguese rule here until the 1970s, and the legacy of Vasco da Gama is still very much evident in its grand mansions with wrought-iron balconies and terracotta tiles, and grandiose whitewashed churches. While

Goa’s party epicentre takes most revellers north of Panaji, arguably its fnest coastal scenery is further to the south, with no specimens in the subcontinent fner than the Edenic shores at Agonda and Cola. The former sees a swathe of white sand backed by hut villages and nodding palms. The latter is a little more remote and rather undeveloped, but the reward for bouncing along an unpaved road for over a mile and a half is fnding yourself confronted with a teal-blue freshwater lagoon, separated sublimely from the saltwater sea beyond by a spit of golden sand.

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Lonely Planet
February 2016

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